Cost of Living Allowance: Economist Theo Acheampong Says 15% Is A Good Balance

Cost of Living Allowance: Economist Theo Acheampong Says 15% Is A Good Balance

  • An economist has told YEN.com.gh that the 15% COLA was a good negotiation between the government and labour
  • Dr Theo Acheampong said in an exclusive interview that it is a good decision by the government to pay all public sector workers and not only teacher unions
  • There had been speculations that the 15% was too small to cushion workers amid rising inflation and cost of living

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Economist and political risk analyst Dr Theo Acheampong has said the 15% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) that the government has agreed to pay labour would prevent further industrial action.

His comment follows the prediction by a US-based economist, Professor Steve Hanke, that the 15% was small compared to rising inflation.

Prof Hanke had predicted that the labour strikes that kicked in following the demand of the COLA would return because the 15% allowance of workers' basic salary was meagre.

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Dr Theo Acheampong is an economist and political risk analyst. Source: Facebook/@theo.acheampong
Dr Theo Acheampong is an economist and political risk analyst. Source: Facebook/@theo.acheampong
Source: Facebook

However, speaking to YEN.com.gh in an exclusive interview, Dr Acheampong said because labour had been demanding 20%, the negotiated figure of 15% would keep public workers in their offices.

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"The challenging fiscal situation of the country meant that the government was never going to be able to offer the full amount requested. So, 15% looks like a good deal to me to prevent further industrial action," he said.

From July 4, 2022, four teacher unions in Ghana declared a nationwide strike to push the government to pay the COLA.

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT), said the government should pay them 20% of their basic salary as allowance before they return to work.

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However, after weeks of negotiations, the government and teachers agreed on 15% instead of 20%.

According to Dr Acheampong, because the allowance will now apply to all public workers and not only the teacher unions, the possibility of other unions rising to demand the same allowance has been averted.

Teacher unions call off strike over Cost Of Living Allowance

Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh covered the moment the four teacher unions who left the classrooms of pre-tertiary public schools, demanding Cost of Living Allowance agreed to return to class.

They called off their two-week strike on Thursday, July 14, 2022, after reaching an agreement with the government.

The four influential teacher unions called off their strike action after the government agreed to a 15% COLA with organised labour. The unions had demanded a 20% COLA.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

Authors:
George Nyavor avatar

George Nyavor (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) George Nyavor writes for YEN.com.gh. He has been Head of the Politics and Current Affairs Desk since 2022. George has over 9 years of experience in managing media and communications (Myjoyonline and GhanaWeb). George is a member of the Catholic Association of Media Practitioners Ghana (CAMP-G). He obtained a BA in Communications Studies from the Ghana Institute of Journalism in 2010. Reach out to him via george.nyavor@yen.com.gh.

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